On January 12, a magnitude 7.0 quake struck Haiti just southwest of the capital, Port-au-Prince. On February 27, an 8.8-magnitude quake hit Chile near that nation's second largest city, Concepcion. That same day there was a 7.0 quake off the coast of Okinawa, Japan, and just this week a 6.4 magnitude quake hit southern Taiwan. The Fact Check Desk looked at whether all of the seismic activity could be related.
Fact Check: Is there any connection between the recent deadly earthquakes?
–Dr. Kurt Frankel of the Georgia Institute of Technology, who specializes in active tectonics, says that earthquakes are sporadic and unpredictable in nature.
– According to Frankel, the fact that these relatively strong quakes would strike around the same time is merely coincidence. Because the quakes did happen one after another, earthquakes are on people's mind, Frankel explained. "Had the quakes in Haiti and Chile not occurred recently, we might not have even been interested in the other quakes," he said.
As the holidays approach I've been thinking about communication. Working at CNN as a researcher, my communication is dominated by the written and spoken word for nine hours straight. On a slow day I will work on 10 scripts and go through 100 emails. When I’m not reading and writing, I’m speaking – to our reporters in every corner of the world. At the end of the day my voice is tired from talking and my fingers from typing. Only a tiny percentage of my communication at CNN is non-verbal.
During the holiday season I have to re-adjust my own thinking on communication because of the symbolic, tangible and non-verbal holiday communication. At my family's Thanksgiving for example we communicate affection, connection and community through carefully prepared food eaten together. For me the significance and power of this communication was heightened this year when, for the first time, my boyfriend's family and my family dined together. Stefan's aunt's sweet potatoes were joyfully scarfed down alongside my father's Turkish zucchini and my first-ever attempt at a turkey. That which divides us was left unspoken and our togetherness communicated by a bountiful table, full stomachs and smiling faces.
The United States and Mexico share a border – and much more. The two countries have a robust trade relationship that is growing but also strained by tensions. People, drugs, guns, consumer goods and commodities cross the U.S.-Mexico border every hour of every day. Much of the traffic is legal but much is not. Here’s a look by the numbers.
Of the 10.3 million unauthorized immigrants in the United States, 57 percent are of Mexican origin.
There are nearly one million legal border crossings daily between the US and Mexico.
The number of accidental immigrant deaths during attempted border crossings doubled between 1999 and 2005.
Mexico is America's third largest total trading partner and its second largest export market. Trade between the United States and Mexico exceeded $350 billion in 2008.
Since NAFTA implementation in 1994, U.S. exports to Mexico have risen 223 percent and Mexican exports to the U.S. have grown 396 percent.
In early March, Mexico announced tariffs totaling 2.4 billion dollars and affecting nearly 90 American products. The announcement came on the heels of a congressional action effectively ending a pilot program allowing Mexican trucks access to US roads.